how many kuhlis in a 10 gallon?

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Lightning Bug

My fish talk to me
Nov 4, 2009
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iv got a well established ten gallon and i was wondering how many kuhli loaches (black and/or stripped) i can put in there. its got some plants in it at the moment and id like some new additions to make it more of a really lush aquatic garden. the kuhlis will be the only critters in there, unless i decide to stick a betta in there... its really supposed to be more of a "kuhli farm" where they can have it all to themselves and swim around and play as they like :)

im hoping i can put 20 in there. is to much?
 

jbradt

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May 9, 2008
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I think 20 may be a little much. These guys stay small, but are extremely active given the right conditions. Also, they are kind of sensitive to water parameters, so the instability of a 10g with 20 in it would likely be difficult to control. I would suggest maybe 8-10?

I've had both the black and striped kuhlis... IME, the black ones are out a lot more during the day, while the striped ones are waaaaay more nocturnal. They are great little fish though! Good luck with them!
 

Lightning Bug

My fish talk to me
Nov 4, 2009
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iv heard the stripped ones are more timid. thanks for that, i think iv made up my mind not to get any and just stick with the black ones.

8-10, ya that sounds about right. i was afraid of that. i really would like a whole swarm of them but i guess a 10 gallon is a pretty tight fit. that and i dont like doing massive water changes all the time. do you think if i pushed it to 12 id be ok? iv got a fluval u2 filter on it (its rated for up to 30 gallons) and iv got an airstone set up under/in some java moss so it acts like a CO2 ladder diffuser... except its for oxygen. do you think i can make it work or is 8-10 really that much better? thanks for the help by the way :)
 

irishspy

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jbradt

this is bat country
May 9, 2008
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iv heard the stripped ones are more timid. thanks for that, i think iv made up my mind not to get any and just stick with the black ones.

8-10, ya that sounds about right. i was afraid of that. i really would like a whole swarm of them but i guess a 10 gallon is a pretty tight fit. that and i dont like doing massive water changes all the time. do you think if i pushed it to 12 id be ok? iv got a fluval u2 filter on it (its rated for up to 30 gallons) and iv got an airstone set up under/in some java moss so it acts like a CO2 ladder diffuser... except its for oxygen. do you think i can make it work or is 8-10 really that much better? thanks for the help by the way :)
Honestly, I think the 10 side of 8-10 is pushing it. I would only go that high if your tank is heavily planted and you don't mind doing water changes. really, the water changes wouldn't have to be massive. If you did 2 or 3 gallons twice per week, I think you would be fine. Just make sure to feed appropriately and watch the params.

Also, I would recommend acclimating them slowly. They are sensitive little guys. I really enjoyed mine. This could be an awesome tank!
 

loachmom

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Feb 17, 2007
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I hate to be a wet blanket, but I think that a 10 gallon is too small for a long term home for kuhli loaches. They really can get active and will swim quite quickly across the length of the tank and back again. I have about 30 in a 3 ft tank, and they can really fly around in there.

Have you considered some small tetras? Also, what about Corydoras habrosus? The habrosus are a pygmy cory. Mine are quite active and are not shy like my other pygmy cory, the Corydoras pygmaeus. Shrimp are another nice addition. :)
 
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fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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I agree, a 10 is too small. I have 7 kuhlis in a 20g long, that seems a minimum to me. I actually am setting up a 40g long for them ( & some others too)
 

Donna F

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Aug 20, 2009
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I have six striped kuhlis in a 20 long, (and 3 angelfish so normal people have something to look at without crouching down and peering under stuff with a flashlight.) The kuhlis LOVE Indian Almond Leaves littering the tank floor. With tons of hide spots, my striped kuhlis zip around pretty often. Toss in a couple Hikari wafers and you've got a party!




 

BioHazard

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Mar 15, 2009
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Awww, I LOVE kuhlis! So squiggly and cute. Someday I'm gonna order a whole bag from a wholeseller, lol.
Anyway, My PERSONAL opinion is that you could put kuhlis in a 10, as long as the tank has been established for around 6 months, and it is well planted. This will mean it is more stable, as kuhlis can be a little sensitive. I would never have any less that 6 kuhlis in any size tank, as they as EXTREMELY social. They love dog piling under rocks and wood, and dancing together in the wee hours of the morning.
So, I would go with 6-8 kuhlis. After that, I would add a betta if you like, or if you want a little more action, a small school of some micro fish like chili rasboras or ember tetras.
 
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